These days you don’t have to spend a fortune on software or hardware to upgrade the tools board members and volunteers use to collaborate, meet, and get things done.

The most popular programs are not always the most functional or compatible, so I have noted my current preferences with a * (star). The list below is a start and suggestions are welcome!

Check out Your Nerdy Best Friend for more suggestions and a weekly newsletter.

Document Management & Collaboration

  • Google Drive (formerly Google Docs)- 5 GB free storage with new and improved features
  • SkyDrive*- Microsoft’s online version of Excel is the best I’ve seen so far. More standard features than GoogleDocs’ version.
  • Dropbox– quickly becoming the standard document sharing software…
  • SugarSync*-…but I think SugarSync is more intuitive and allows more than one account.
  • Cubby– created by LogMeIn, check out this cool comparison chart under “How’s it Different” to see pros/cons and storage size limits for all of the above competitors

 

Project Management

  • Trello*- super easy to create and move task “cards” between columns assigned to a projects’ scope. Assign deadlines, colors, reference user’s names and mroe.
  • Basecamp– haven’t used it yet but am hearing about it more often.
  • Zoho Projects– free plan to manage one project, monthly fee for more

 

Virtual Meetings

 

Training/Orientation

  • Jing– need to explain your online resources to new volunteers or members? Record short screencasts with voiceover.
  • Bitstrips or ComicLife– create avatars or basic cartoons to illustrate key points
  • Easel– create those cool infographics you’ve been seeing. Select existing ones too. (Check out this blog on the benefits and how-to of using cartoons and graphics in your messaging.)

 

Board Meeting Logistics

  • Minutes.io– type minutes online in real time, organize action items, record attendance, distribute minutes in, well, minutes!
  • Doodle*- anyone who has tried to find an open window of 30 minutes among 10 people knows how tricky it can be. Use Doodle to propose meeting times with ease.
  • TimeBridge-another scheduling assistant